My New Setup

cloud, productivity applications, mobile

I've finally completed my long standing desire to be done with desktop software and desktop files. The final piece of the puzzle came yesterday when I unplugged my windows desktop as part of our office move. I'm so excited about my new setup and thought I'd blog about it. I realize that many of you made this move years ago. I'm not suggesting I am ahead of the curve here. I'm just happy to finally be where I've wanted to be for a number of years.

The main goal I've had is to have the applications and files I need available on any device I might want to use. I moved my email to gmail a while ago. I was using gmail while the rest of our firm was still on outlook and exchange. Over the past year, our firm moved to google apps. We now run our mail, calendaring, and contacts on the google apps platform. Earlier this month, I made the move from gmail to the USV google apps service. At the same time, I moved my calendar and contacts which were still on exchange to the USV google apps service.

I now use google docs for most of my word processing and spreadsheet work. And we use dropbox to share files with each other and between the various devices we use. I've got dropbox on my android which is really helpful for accessing files when I'm on the road.

As for devices, I've got a macbook pro in my office at home which I take on the road with me. I'm moving that device to a macbook air as soon as they update that line. I've heard that's coming in a few months. Our family shares a macbook in the kitchen and I do a ton of work on that machine. I'm using it now. In our new office, I am getting an iMac. And we will have mac minis in our conference rooms which I can use when I'm working out of one of those rooms.

And maybe most importantly, I'm using a Nexus S android phone that has all the google apps and dropbox on it. I tend to use my phone more than any other device. On the flight west to SF this past week, I did the entire 6 hour flight on my Nexus S with gogo inflight mobile. I was streaming music using rdio, blogging on typepad, doing mail and calendaring on google apps, and reading blogs on the android browser. It worked great.

I realize that it will be a while before I'm completely ridden of word, excel, powerpoint, keynote, and a few other desktop software packages. I still get plenty of files sent to me that are best viewed in these applications. So I have them on pretty much every machine I use regularly. And I use the preview function on android to read them when I'm on my phone. I'm hoping we can move away from these applications quickly, but I'm realistic about the intertia that exists in things like this.

The sense of freedom that exists when you know your applications and files are available from any device with an internet connection and a browser is amazing. I feel lighter already.

In thinking back to the way I've worked over the past twenty years, I am not going to miss taking my laptop back and forth to work. I'm not going to miss trying to sync files across multiple devices. I'm not going to miss upgrading software all the time. I'm not going to miss being anal retentive about backing up all my files. I'm not going to miss windows and windows networking. I'm not going to miss outlook, exchange, and blackberry exchange server. All of that was overhead that got in the way of being productive, mobile, and free and I'm so happy to be done with it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    How will you spend your new found spare time? ;-)Curious about the nexus S, does the battery burn out faster with wifi enabled? How do you make it last cross country?

    1. fredwilson

      I was able to plug it in on the plane. But if power wasn’t available I have two spare batteries for my nexus s. Spare batteries are one of the reasons I won’t use an iPhone

      1. JimHirshfield

        Power is the bane of mobile.

      2. matthughes

        Batteries…I carried a spare for my Thinkpad back in the day and was super worried when I switched to a MacBook Pro…I just carry my iPad now. The evolution is pretty funny.(iphone 4 battery has somewhat assuaged my phone battery concerns but ironically my battery died on a flight earlier this week)

  2. Jan Cifra

    Fred, congratulations on your move. As someone who already moved a company to Google Apps I would like to ask you whether USV had any doubts about the security of the information that is stored in your email and handled by Google? 

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t worry about it. But I totally understand why people are concerned about it

  3. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Congrats, Fred. I really need to make time to address this as my work/social devices now comprise of a mix of a MacBook Air, an old white MacBook, an iPhone, an iPad and shortly a new iMac. A lovely ensemble, but not good for logistics!

  4. David Semeria

     I’m quite enjoying Evernote on Android

    1. chauzer

      Springpad is a great alternative and is completely free too 

  5. 27inches ofGlory

    Back when I had a home, I had one of those gorgeous 27 inch iMacs with nothing but essential software… and it was pure bliss. Most productive I’ve ever been.Now on the road, I use the base model 13 inch MBP and I love it almost as much as the 27. We also have an 11 inch MackBook Air. If only they had backlit keyboards, I’d swap my MBP for the 13 inch MBA today.Unlike you, I use the phone least of all devices. Guess I need to get out more 🙂

  6. Paul Flanigan

     “The sense of freedom that exists when you know your applications and files are available from any device with an internet connection and a browser is amazing. I feel lighter already.”Could. Not. Agree. More. (With periods.)I just started a new job where the entire office is virtual. Google Docs, Dropbox. The software we build is HTML and accessibly from any browser. I was given an HTC with the Android OS, so mobile is easy. Not only is the work virtual, but so is the product = completely free and hardware agnostic.Congrats. I completely know how you feel.That sense you write about – the lack of having to haul a computer around – is remarkable.

  7. JimHirshfield

    Also curious about keyboard on nexus s….do you use native or swype or other?

    1. fredwilson

      I couldn’t get the hang of swype. I love the concept though. I use the native keyboard

      1. Steve Hallock

        My favorite is Swiftkey if you want to try something else.

        1. CJ

           I second swiftkey, I prefer it to the hardware keyboard on the Epic 4G. I’ll never get another Android phone with a hardware KB because of it.

  8. Paul Meyer

     I like the setup. I started using Gmail nearly a decade ago! The company I “work for” converted to Google Apps a few years ago, and the service just keeps getting better. I’m an Apple fan with MacBook Air and iPhone. The key for me is the ability to keep two major business initiatives running on the setup w/o “cross talk”. Multiple Google Apps accounts makes this possible. The number of sharing options with Google Apps keeps increasing, which makes sharing with clients easier all the time. I find that sharing PDFs and DOCs via Google Apps is a good way to keep the non-Googs integrated.

  9. Steve Hallock

    I went in the exact same direction.  Got the new iMac for my office, an 11″ Macbook Air for the road, and my major tech expense is a new Android phone every 6 months or so.  Gmail for most mail (although still some Exchange for certain work), Google Docs whenever I can.  In addition, I just got a Google Music invite so I’m in the process of moving all of my music to the cloud.The amazing thing is how little native storage I use.  The 64gb on my Air is plenty.  In fact my physical HD has become more of a backup for the cloud whereas just a couple years ago it was the other way around.

  10. Joshua Cyr

    This is a direction a lot of us are going.  Somewhat validating the Chrome OS path Google is paving.  Will be interesting to read a follow up post in 2 years from all of us on what tech has changed to make our lives even easier in that regard.

  11. NI

    Tell us more about the new office please.

  12. Rohan

     I still love Outlook! And I still love using my IBM over my iPhone.. Maybe that will change.. 

  13. Cristian Liu

     This is really great.  I wonder when other folks will start moving things virtually.  While everything of mine that is personal & my side projects are done on the cloud, the vast majority of professional work still stays locked in my desktop at work.  Here’s to you taking a step in the right direction!

  14. Don Dodge

    Fred, I went totally to the cloud 19 months ago when I departed Microsoft and joined Google. No desktop software at all…everything in the cloud. I can do everything I did before, and haven’t missed managing files and applications at all.My Android phone is a joy. I just entered my email address and password and magically everything appears and just works. My phone can do most things (email, twitter, facebook, web browsing, maps, photos, music, directions, etc) and it is on Verizon so I can do it from anywhere.Between my Chrome CR48 (Wifi and 3G) and my phone, I am connected virtually all the time, and everything I need is in the cloud.This doesn’t work for everyone. Some power users will need Excel or Photoshop, or some desktop app. That is OK. One solution does not fit all use cases. But for me, the cloud does everything I need it to do. Welcome to the freedom of the cloud.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m only 19 months behind you don!

  15. Guest

     11″ Macbook Air is the real revolutionary device, not the iPad. A powerful computer that weighs nothing and does everythingOne thing missing from Mac is built in Version Control software such as Tortoise on a PC where u can right click on a folder and download files from a cloud storage repository. You can buy software but the integration on a PC is still much better. More a developer thing but has many extra uses

    1. Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

      I agree regarding Air. That is definitely the device of the future. My next laptop will be an Air, though I see no reason to replace my 2 year old MacBook Pro. It still works flawlessly.  

      1. Guest

        I was notified of your reply by my Android Galaxy noticing Gmail had a new email and so made an alert sound.The android is always monitoring gmail when at home on wifi and usually notifies before the email appears in the browserAndroid and Apple work well togetherAm also using my macbook pro which is nice for the bigger screen but cant carry it around anymore, too heavy!

    2. Aaron Klein

      I agree with everything you wrote except I got the 13″ and am SO glad.It’s now my only machine and it does EVERYTHING I need. 

  16. Cameron Morris

    Why do you have a desktop in your office and your conference rooms? Why not get laptops and external monitors etc? Makes it easier to work from the couch 🙂 

    1. fredwilson

      i like to sleep on the couch :)iPads are great for the couch actually

      1. Cameron Morris

        oooooh, you need to work on keeping the eyes open on the couch, it can be a place of great productivity. I feel like the iPad keyboard would slow down me down, I’m much better with the plain old iPhone 3Gs.  Sent from my couch

        1. fredwilson

          “sent from the couch”that’s great

      2. ErikSchwartz

        Nielsen study yesterday showed that 30% of all Tablet usage is while people are watching TV.  http://erikschwartz.tumblr….It’s the computer to use while you’re doing something else.

        1. markslater

          thats where ours is erik – or in the bedroom – the little one loves it in the morning speaking of which  – these tablets are amazing educational tools – my 20 month old is totally comfortable unlocking and tapping away within her apps.  

          1. CJ

             My 18 month old is the same way, loves the iPad.  Uses it more than I do.

  17. Kevin Cheng

     I just took another step towards having everything online yesterday by giving Evernote another shot. I realized I had a ton of PDFs and text files I keep for receipts, recipes, resumes, boarding passes, itineraries, meeting notes, etc. Not all of these are things I record in Google Docs. So I dumped it all into Evernote. Let’s see how that goes.The two other pieces I’ve moved online are photos (Flickr) and music (some combination of rdio and grooveshark).

  18. jerrycolonna

     I’m remembering all the times your old mail files crashed our various exchange servers. I’m remembering your love for the Thinkpad (the pre-Lenovo ones) and that weird little eraser-head track ball thingey (the Germans and their love of compound words, must have a term for “nostalgia for a friend’s techno-habits”).Thinking of this…”I’ve got a macbook pro in my office at home which I take on the road with me…” makes me think, really, why take anything on the road at all? While we ain’t completely there yet there WILL be a day when you can reliably leave every device home and still access anything that you need, anywhere, any time.(I’m thinking of a chip embedded in my body that is really a cloud-access mechanism.)

    1. fredwilson

      using the android for 6 hours flying to SF makes me think you might be rightabout “why take anything on the road”



        1. Mr. Unexpectedly

           I heart you FG. Slash you’re right

        2. CJ

           Doing anything other than consumption and very light productivity (quick emails, short documents) suck on everything short of a netbook. Can it be done? Sure.  Would I like to do it? I’d rather rip out my fingernails one by one.

      2. Aaron Klein

        The MacBook Air has cured me of this desire, which surprised me.It instantly turns on like an iPad. It has crazy good battery life. It’s feather light. And the keyboard and screen are just beautiful.I send huge volumes of mobile e-mail but every time I need to respond to something in more than superficial detail, there is just nothing like taking 5 seconds to pull out the right form factor.I’m 10x more productive creating content on the MBA than on a mobile device. (And that goes for the iPad too.)

        1. CJ

          Can you put Bootcamp and Windows 7 on it? 

          1. Aaron Klein

            Yep. I use VMware but it’s the best Windows machine I’ve ever owned.

        2. Lachlan

          Do you use the 11″ or 13″?

          1. Aaron Klein


  19. DGentry

    I haven’t managed to replace Omnigraffle yet. The drawing module in Google Docs works for simple diagrams, but I often end up switching to Omnigraffle.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      OmniGraffle is one of my most important apps. I tried Gliffy for an online replacement but it just was not good enough. 



      2. markslater

        i use the drawing mod and it is limiting – but its sharing and colab features work great for us. 

  20. George Magdaleno

    I have the same set up with a MacBook Pro, two PC’s and my iPad. I use Google Docs and Dropbox to store all my files and sync them between computers. It feels great no longer being bound to one machine or operating system.I can even use some of my older computers now, which is saving me lots of money from costly upgrades. 

    1. Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

      Great point regarding older computers. My old ThinkPad (circa 2005) has a new lease on life thanks to wireless + Google Docs. It was too slow to be functional, but now I can erase Office entirely, creating more hard drive space in the process.  

  21. David Miller

    I made the exact transition about 18 months ago way ahead of the rest of my company and it feels great. Wait until you go someplace like Europe and don’t want to take your MacBook. You won’t miss a beat.

  22. andyswan

    Don’t forget to backupify.

    1. fredwilson

      do you backupify your gmail?

      1. andyswan

        Yep… gmail, goog apps, and twitter.(Seed investor) On May 21, 2011 10:46 AM, “Disqus” <>

    2. CJ

       I agree Andy, if I switched to this model I’d totally use backupify as a complement.  

    3. Dan Deppen

       Why would you need to use backupify? Google already has multiple levels of backup to protect you as evidenced by their incident earlier this year. 

      1. andyswan

        Great question led me to post this:5 reasons I use backupify even though I trust Google:

  23. Antoine RJ Wright

    Funny, wrote the same post. I totally agree on the freedom part, there is a relief on not thinking or worrying about the layers in between just getting things done. I’m probably a tick worse than you though, I’m completely on iPad and mobile, and only have Office viewers. I make docs in GDocs or Evernote, presentations in HTML with S5. If the items can’t go anywhere, I won’t use an app that locks it, that’s freedom to work, freedom to do this computing in a way that gives back something to this life.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m inspired by the way you worki will try to get there next

    2. ZA

       I haven’t found the iPad to work very well with creating (viewing is fine) docs in GDocs. It’s a little awkward and not as responsive. Have you had a different experience?

  24. Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

    We’re moving in this direction as well, as least for internal communications. For example, we always draft our proposals and client reports in Google Docs. But they we bring them into Word for final clean up and polish. We’ll probably drop Word very soon. For spreadsheets, like financial models, we tend to work in Excel exclusively because we’re exchanging files with clients. But internally, we use Google Docs spreadsheets for tracking purposes. That works well. I noticed that Google Docs introduced pivot tables recently. That’s really a step up for Google Docs. Our big hangup is our reliance on PowerPoint. We’ve tried importing PPTX files into Google Docs for editing, but somehow they never look quite right. So we’re sticking with PPT for presentations. Regardless, 100% Cloud is the way to go. I’m a Mac/iPhone/ guy, while my partner is a PC/BlackBerry guy. Having a common cloud-based platform makes things a lot easier. 

  25. Anon

    In my current company, we just moved OUT of Google Apps, for so-called security reasons. I can tell you: the way back is a real huge pain in the … So painful for me that I quitting (not the only reason).

    1. fredwilson


  26. Deyan Vitanov

    Fred, thanks for the post and congrats on the move. Are you worried at all about exposing confidential information through Dropbox? (especially in light of recent articles that they actually have access to all files) I am asking because I made a similar move ~2 years ago and recently started getting a bit worried.

    1. fredwilson

      a little worriedour portfolio companies are using it extensively and the data we put ondropbox is largely their data not ours

      1. Jose Paul Martin

        There’s a trade off between availability of information vs security. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

  27. Elia Freedman

    I too have found I can travel with just an iPhone and iPad and no longer need a laptop! Congrats, Fred!I think there is something else interesting about your post, specifically related to mobile: you no longer need BlackBerry Enterprise Server and exchange as you have replaced this with Google. When we were RIM partners a few years ago I pushed them to figure out how to instantly sync calendar, address book and email across devices for everyone and charge a monthly fee for it. There was such a huge need pre-Google apps and Mobile Me. RIM could have been the next generation productivity company. With a foothold in calendar and contacts there are so many interesting revenue streams and directions, it is just ridiculous. Instead they saw their future as BES and BBM so sold more and more to not growing IT departments and fickle teenagers. I’ve been in mobile for 14 years now and see RIM failing to capitalize on their competitive advantages in cloud-based, instant and secure productivity “apps” the same way Palm blew up their chances with poor managements and constantly bad decisions — a sad state of affairs.

  28. Dan Cornish

     How about line of business apps? Are you able to move apps other than productivity to the cloud yet?

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think i use any apps of the kind you mentioncan you give me some examples?

      1. Dan Cornish

        Your accounting package, payroll, insurance, tools to track leases, agreements, employee benefits, tools to manage investments. I am guessing that currently you use spreadsheets for most of this, which is appropriate for a small business, but I am just curious.We have been trying to get most/all of our business tools/app into the cloud. I am also on a kick to try to get away from spreadsheets for any tools which change often and are shared/collaborative. Also anything with deadlines or scheduled events like our lease, agreements with other software companies, etc. do not belong in a spreadsheet, but in a tool to manage them. My Cap table does not change much so a spreadsheet is fine. Payroll and the analysis does change so we are trying out a few online tools for this.  Eating the dog food so to speak. 

  29. Martin Henk

     Totally agree! At Pipedrive we are building a 100% web-based software and are using gmail and google apps for most of the collaboration. We still need some desktop tools though: for editing code for example. And Skype is still on the desktop sadly. 

    1. markslater

      Yep – skype, paint, adobe, excel, full tilt poker and itunes occupy my left menu bar in win 7.

      1. fredwilson

        full tilt poker!

  30. Neil Braithwaite

    Building my start-up, my new partner has opened my eyes to all you have described in this post. (He’s way ahead of the game relative to this technology)I’m amazed at how seamless it has been for me to move from working and managing my files, to using the Google platforms. Sharing, editing and creating have never been easier!My partner and I tend to work late hours, so putting on a headset, in a totally peaceful home office, has led to an increase in production. Not to mention that I can catch the West Coast playoff games during our sessions. Did I mention that my office moves to the media room after 11:00pm? Lets keep that on the down-low shall we)

    1. markslater

      me too neil. the google apps are built for sharing. I’ll create a simple workflow in drawing – grab and distro the link – see the team come on and start collabing in the doc – its amazing. I’d like to see a timestamp of visits to docs thoughXXXXX last visited this doc on YYYY  

      1. Neil Braithwaite

        Mark – my partner and I have gotten more done these last 30 days than the last 90.I started putting all my work notes into a Spreadsheet and sharing them with my partner while we worked online.He also began making notes in that same spreadsheet. We now make “real-time” notes during every session which has led us to solutions and ideas I’m positive we wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.

        1. markslater

          yep – what i can’t get my head around is that MSFT let this happen. they missed the whole paradigm shift that went fromcreate – distribute – await response – do again to solve fortocreate – collaborate – solve for. people look at cloud apps as competitors to installed apps. they are not – they represent an entirely new and more efficient way of doing things. 

  31. sachxn

    Seems very interesting, I wish I will do the same…..Personally I will do it in few months…not officially

  32. dartdog

    I’m right there, but still can’t get rid of Intuit, both personal Quicken and Quickbooks,, need some better and cheaper cloud apps (and not Intuit), I could probably live w/o Photoshop, and I think I’d be just about there..One more tip, the Diigo suite of tools really sings with Android and Chrome, Powernote and Bookmarks,, the powernote app works off line and syncs when online really ties the desk and phone together, there are a few other pieces of Diigo as well, chrome to phone enhancements and the like.

    1. fredwilson

      financial accounting (both personal and business) is something we need badlyin the cloud

      1. panterosa,

        I hated my 15 years on Quickbooks and switched to Mint which works for personal. But Mint would be so much better if it pulled reports and so on like QB.In another note about safety,  a partner of mine just had her linkedin account hacked by a competitor who got into the gmail account she used for linkedin. She is so busy dealing with the fallout that I haven’t heard the full story yet. But it makes safety concern pretty high.

        1. markslater

          blows my mind that someone has not done this. 

          1. panterosa,

            You mean Mint/QB? I hope they are reading this.

        2. CJ

          Simple passwords.  #1 reason that email accounts are compromised.  

      2. Aaron Klein

        Xero is probably the closest to getting this done.They’ve got some feature holes but they’ve got a darned good API and I think the holes are getting filled in pretty quickly. 

      3. Jose Paul Martin

        Tried  ?

    2. Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

       Cheaper cloud versions of Quickbooks would be great. 

      1. dartdog

        better yet something from another company. 

  33. Silvio Porcellana

    …and then the cloud fails (see AWS last month) or Dropbox decides to hand all your personal files to the government. And you are in deep sh*t.

    1. fredwilson

      the entire cloud doesn’t fail, just parts of it

      1. Silvio Porcellana

        So you are actually replicating all your files and documents across the WHOLE cloud? And then for the cloud to fail it’s enough that your network connection drops when you desperately need THAT ONE file…

      2. Hi

        still… what’s your contingency plan?

        1. fredwilson

          depends on the servicewe sync dropbox to a mac mini on our officei’ve got gmail and calendar offline on my phonedifferent services require different levels of availability

          1. markslater

            its Piss easy to build in redundancy when operating in the cloud – why do people make such a big deal of “the interwebs” going down?I do a daily back up – to my home computer – and then to – its automated.have any of these people ever had a PC crash?  

          2. Silvio Porcellana

            So you are basically saying you don’t trust the cloud. And I agree.

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          4. Jose Paul Martin

             ‘different services require different levels of availability’So true… can’t imagine doing an engineering autocad diagram online!I think being able to sync offline is just as important. Evernote got it right… Web App / Mobile App / Desktop App. With Mobile and Desktop having offline, just incase you’re not connected to the grid.

          5. Michael_kariv

            Well, there are online CAD apps…

    2. Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

      What about off-shoring your backups to Canada or the UK? Would that offer any protection?  

      1. Silvio Porcellana

        Actually I’m already “off shore” as i’m Italian, but the point is rather that I wouldn’t be happy knowing that ALL my sensitive data is on the total control of someone else. Even if their motto is “do no evil”

  34. tomwatson

    Fred – this is *exactly* my set-up for my consulting firm .. which is one man and some strategic partners – so in essence, a cloud consultancy, plugging in where needed. Been running this way from Day 1 – Jan. 1, 2009.I hardly ever sweat the hardware (I’m Apple with computers, Android on the go), and have come to think of company servers and protocols as the equivalent of Steve Martin’s old Theodoric, Barber of York on SNL.I start every note, every spreadsheet, every preso on the goog – occasionally polishing for print on desktop, but more often than not, simply sharing through google apps. Interestingly, I think my clients appreciate the built-in flexibility my cloud work offers – if I’m in a meeting and we need to look at research or tweak a doc, it’s there if the internet is. And with powerpoint, it’s forced a newly simplicity of design -which is appreciated as well.

    1. fredwilson

      “i hardly ever sweat the hardware”i think that’s the really important point herei’ve gotten to the same place with my home audio/video/entertainment systemas wellit is so damn liberating

  35. mkedave

    The cloud is comfy. With an office all on google apps and now just 14 hours into life on Android, I can already feel a few new luxuries.  Now, if only I weren’t tethered to the wall to charge up these batteries.

  36. Nik Cubrilovic

    That is the one realization I had with the storage space years ago – once everybody is 100% cloud, you don’t need apps like Dropbox. What we do need though are the protocols for inter-platform sync between clouds, and that is going to be tough to iron out (ie. being able to open a doc you have stored in Google Apps using Microsoft Office Online).We also have some way to go to make browsers better, more secure and more privacy conscious (I think there is an entire market in cloud privacy which will replace Symantec + McAfee etc.) – but we are probably only 4-5 years away from having the majority of computing users on cloud onlyThe opportunity now for entrepreneurs is to think about everything that is currently being done on desktop computers and where the big markets are and how that will translate to the cloud. You can pretty quickly start seeing the opportunities – for eg. there is no cloud ‘start’ button, there is still no great movie, tv show recommendation service, there is no good online book reader and finder, no good online photo editing, no good online development environment, online gaming has a long way to go, no good equivalent of MS Access, quickbooks, onenote. Also a lot of opportunities in tying this all together – SMB intranets, API proxies, social network interop, security and auth infrastructure, etc. etc. Then you have powering the cloud – new servers that support better concurrency, new app platforms, new dev toolchains to build quick apps, new services API’s such as recommendation algorithms that other apps can integrate – it goes on and on and on .. exciting times

    1. Erik Caso

      We launch into beta “soon”, but what you describe is our goal. This is our first public post, but you can sign up for an invite at

      1. Michael Hudak

         Wow. Xtranormal? With cussing too? I would never trust your company with my files. I would expect supreme professionalism from a company I expect to be secure and discretionary with my data.

        1. Erik Caso

          You are, of course, rightly entitled to your opinion.  I, however, love Xtranormal.  I think they’ve enabled a ton of great media in the market and it is a lot more fun that most of the boring other formats (just my opinion). In regards to the cussing (which I would say is a stretch), obviously we might be more casual with our language and perhaps that is not best for those with a more delicate constitution. Point taken.I respect your opinion, although I should correct something in what you implied.  We *never* have your files.  We have a better than average security background and are very concerned with user privacy and security.  Our platform, I would argue, is more likely the last solution you could use that might result in any such security compromise. Our technology works very differently though and we’ll be talking more about that in the near future.Perhaps the professionalism you seek is not easily determined by watching our little animated video.  Nonetheless, we’ll really take what you say into consideration.  Thanks for posting your thoughts.

          1. Farhan

            I’m sold, cussing and all. 2nd person to ‘like’ on Facebook. Lookijg forward.

          2. Eric Mill

            Xtranormal plus cussing makes me more likely to purchase a product, for the record. This applies universally, to all products.

    2. iainm

       security and privacy are two of the top cloud adoption blockers on the business/enterprise side and privacy is increasingly becoming a consumer concern. Symantec and McAfee are just like Microsoft when it comes to the post-PC era – their core businesses are built around selling shrink wrapped software that gets installed on PC’s and servers. i doubt they will be able to adopt. You are very right that there are a whole raft of cloud based privacy and security problems that only startups or those companies without a big desktop based business legacy to protect will really be able to solve. Zscalar is a security startup already doing some really interesting work in this space as was Immunet, which recently got acquired by SourceFire.

    3. Lachlan

      There are online services for some of the things you mention. Aviary or picnic for photo editing. Salesforce for ms access type databases. Xero or sassu for quickbooks equivelant. Although some of these aren’t as advance there is great potential.

    4. Tim M

      If dropping hints about your own startups is not considered too rude: You’re right, living in the cloud is great, but there’s the problem that so many service offerings provide a single silo of functionality that keeping track of them all, especially notifications and updates, gets to be a problem in its own right. is aimed at spanning those services, sitting on top of (not replacing) individual services and giving you an integrated, active web desktop onto them all. Currently in private beta, but you can register to request an invitation for when we’re ready to go a bit wider.

  37. Cherif Habib

    Fred – how do you do email offline now that Google dropped Gears?

    1. fredwilson

      on my android

  38. Nik Cubrilovic

    Google didn’t drop Gears – what Gears implemented is now part of Chrome and HTML5Gears was just an interim measure to get the new API’s out into the wild and to unclog a beurocratic standards process (and it worked!) 

  39. Davealevine

    Why not use Office365 when it comes out later this year? People use excel (and to a lesser extent word) because it is better. Office365 allows you to be “in the cloud” with better apps than Google docs and allows backwards comparability with the rest of the world which will take a decade to catch up.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve used the office apps for as long as they’ve been aroundand i’ve used the google apps for the past few yearsi think the google apps are betteri understand you don’tthat’s why there’s a market out there for technology

      1. markslater

        they are better – and i hate to say it – FREE. Excel still wins though fred – at least for me.  

      2. Davealevine

        I’m fascinated by the fact you prefer google even for spreadsheetsDo you think it has to do with the more “senior” role you enjoy now vs the past when you did more modeling?As someone who uses excel everyday for work (I’m a buy-side research analyst), I genuinely couldn’t imagine using the google version as a replacement. My understanding is that many google employees felt the same way and insisted on having MS apps (primarily excel) for themselves.

        1. Tariq

          I disagree with you. I think early on some analysts get a false sense of confidence in their models because they end up doing so much work — they end up with these massive overly complex files. Google Docs is actually a pretty good way to force you to simplify your approach.A good investor does not require much by way of modeling. It’s all about focusing on the cash flows and not complicating things too much. The more complicated you get and the less margin of safety you require leads tends to lead to suboptimal results.I actually think modeling should be used more as a sanity check — just as a means of seeing some of the past historical financial details and projecting a bit into the future, with assumptions for growth, working capital, and capex/depreciation. That gives you a back of the envelope FCF value which is what an investor typically wants to see.From there doing a DCF in your head is pretty simple after making conservative assumptions on growth and the discount rate you require. Warren Buffett got pretty far without having to use Excel and Charlie Munger routinely says the way business valuation is taught in business schools is often incorrect.

          1. RichardF

            nah…never mind complex models, embedding charts, pivot tables…I could go on.  Google docs does not cut  it.

          2. Mayur

            Google Spreadsheets has embedded charts and last week announced support for pivot tables http://googleenterprise.blo…

          3. Davealevine

            I agree simplicity is better in just about everything – especially investing. Complex models are usually unnecessary.That said, excel is just plain better for even simple financial analysis in my experience. My guess is Mr Wilson isn’t doing much of the heavy lifting anymore, thus his affinity for the ease of access Google offers.

  40. Mike McCready

    Hi Fred. My set up is identical except I stead of an Android phone I have the iPhone. Any special reason you’ve gone with the Nexus? Maybe you addressed that in another post but if so, I missed it.Love your blog!

    1. fredwilson

      a ton of reasons but the big ones is android is more open, you can run appslike locale on it, and the availability of spare batteries is a huge issuefor me



        1. CJ

           I challenge you to find Tasker or Locale or an alternate KB on iPhone.  That’s Open.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. CJ

             It’s just the point that software like this CAN exist on Android and not on the iPhone that makes it Open.  The fact that I can hack it with Google’s blessing (mostly).  The fact that you can write a native app for it and not be subject to Jobs’ Law.  All of these things combine to make it open, maybe not open like Linux but definitely way more Open than any other phone on the market.

  41. maverickny

    Hah, I can feel the exhilaration and exultation in the freedom from here!  Went through exactly the same thing myself in 2004 when I ditched Windows completely and switched to an all Mac platform with laptops and cloud based apps where possible.  Each year just seems to get better with more software coming out in the cloud.Totally love Dropbox and Google Apps for email and documents.  I also use Evernote a lot and also Simplenote, a simple text editor for notes on the go at medical conferences and blog posts. It syncs between all of my machines and even the iphone and ipad, backups go to Dropbox and offline with Notational Velocity.  Beautiful.  It just works.My next projects are to get a Mac Mini for backup storage and an Air for travel for the heavy duty stuff when the new version comes out.For now, I travel with just my ipad and iphone – both pretty much cover most of what I need – although neither work well with WordPress, but it was exhilarating not to have to lug a heavy laptop around – I wanted to jump for joy!

  42. bsaitz

     i hope you’re using chrome with sync – it’s amazing.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not

      1. bsaitz

         works great, invisibly syncs bookmarks, extensions, themes, preferences, even passwords!  makes moving computers or restoring super easy.  and works with a chromeos book 🙂

  43. Jonathan Nelson

    Being on the cloud can be really really nice, but you are completely trusting Google and Google’s employees with _every thing Charles River Ventures does.  They now have access to your financials, your location, your search, your email, your documents. You are trusting Google to manage, handle and secure all of your business intelligence.  Generally I trust Google. But, when a company has a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value, and more and more corporations start switching over to a Google Apps platform over the next decade. I’d be shocked  if Google _didn’t use that huge trove of business intelligence to it’s financial advantage.  If Google acquires a company that’s in Charles River’s portfolio, wouldn’t it be silly for them _not_ to look at what’s been going on in your Google Apps account regarding that company?  Having run cloud services before.  A CEO friend just had a Silicon Valley celeb sign up for their startup’s account.  That entire day was spent watching them use their application, and watching what they did.   

    1. fredwilson

      i think you mean Union Square Ventures but i get your pointi am figuring if Google’s employees breach this trust, their business is atsevere riskso i don’t worry about it nearly as much as they do



        1. Guest

          There are cheers from multiple humanoids looking at this screen at the moment. Many of whom are also worried about a talking dino.

        2. Guest

          dude,what if your own employee leaks info to people willing buy or publish, remember Wikileaks, all the information was leaked by insiders. Assuming your company employees are logical and loyal bad move. Solution ?

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. Jose Paul Martin

        Fred, I just replied to William above on this very same topic… security/privacy/trust. Reproducing incase u didnt see it.William, security and privacy will become a concern, and sooner or later it will some how be addressed. Especially when even services like Dropbox have had security issues:…We’ve seen that you cannot contain files 100%. With what we’ve seen with Wikileaks… files can escape (even from cloud services), however now you can track it down, and perhaps in the future search and destroy those files.Check out:  (we’ve invested in this company, so I’m biased!) 

        1. fredwilson

          So be careful what you write. Treat everything like a comment here at avc. Because it will get out

          1. Jose Paul Martin

             Sorry. Lost the flow of your thoughts there…

          2. fredwilson

            I just mean if you write all emails and memos with the idea that they maywell end up public, you will be better off

          3. Guest

            Take the above advice from Fred; learning the hard way can leave a mark.

      3. MParekh

        Congrats on the new set-up Fred…only suggestion in addition that works for me especially on long flights is either an iPad or an Android tablet (Xoom ok for now) w/ Dropbox, for the larger screen instead of peering at a smartphone for 6 hours…but maybe it’s just my tired eyes :)You’ll love the Macbook Air…I use both the 11 and 13″ depending on short vs. long trips and they’ll have a lot more power when the line’s refreshed soon.The other item that’s indispensable for me is a Verizon 4G Mifi (the 4G Thunderbolt with hotspot will do too), so that I can have Wifi for the Macbook Air pretty much everywhere.

      4. tapp

        As large corporations go, I believe Google to be a pretty ethical one, but employees have actually already breached that trust (confirmed by Google):…That said, you don’t have to give up the freedom the cloud affords to insure your privacy – just encrypt your Google Apps content when it’s called for.  Given the large number of your portfolio companies that are probably using cloud mail providers, this is a superior solution anyway.

    2. Jonathan Nelson

      replace(“Charles River”, “Union Square”)*so embarassed*.  

    3. Peter Van Dijck

      “wouldn’t it be silly for them _not_ to look at what’s been going on in your Google Apps account regarding that company? “Incredibly silly and shortsighted. If it EVER came out (and these things always do, in the end), they would immediately loose billions in value, that same day. Trust and brand  destroyed. 

  44. rustlem

     It’s worth mentioning that Egnyte offers a nice cloud file server solution. It works nicely and you can mount the drive so that it gives the kind of user experience that people are used to. Also useful for sharing files with other companies / people when necessary. We’ve used Egnyte since the early days and I think it’s a winner.

  45. Andy Jacobson

    I’m 75% there, but as a Graphic Designer I’m still tethered to Adobe. Can’t wait till they (hopefully) put CS in a cloud.

  46. Andy Jacobson

    I’m 75% there, but as a Graphic Designer I’m still tethered to Adobe. Can’t wait till they (hopefully) put CS in a cloud.

  47. ErikSchwartz

    The new catchphrase will be:”The Network is the Computer”I’ve heard that somewhere before…

    1. Jose Paul Martin

      Larry Ellison, Oracle?He got it right… he got the time wrong. 

      1. ErikSchwartz

        It was Sun’s motto.…

        1. Jose Paul Martin

          (this got posted elsewhere… sorry)Ahhh Yes!But it was still Larry who talked about dumb terminals way before that… of course he was thinking about running everything of Oracle servers!

      2. markslater


    2. Guest

      I remember working with some really smart telecom folks over a decade ago that were saying something similar.

  48. Tobias Cassell

     Fred,Moores Law rocks. Venture capitalists are now running around equipped as backpack journalists. I love it. I’ve got an older MacBookPro that never moves, an older 13″ MacBookAir in my bag and whatever Android phone suits me at any given moment. Right now I’m running a G2. The G2 has three shortcut keys and I have one of them bringing up a text editor and I find I’m writing in this thing constantly- I even catch myself writing in it while I’m sitting in from of an open laptop.  As soon as someone releases an Android phone with a bigger screen AND a proper keyboard I’ll get it. (I maintain about a 4.5″ screen with a real keyboard is the sweet spot, its just a matter of time) In a perfect world, I would love to buy another smartphone, a beat up used smartphone maybe, and use it wifi only. Content consumption and the text editor mostly, maybe I’d carry the Air a little less.  I think in the next year or two we will see a many folks buying up used Androids with real keyboards, the new SideKick would be great in my bag, off contract, wifi only, set up with specific apps as an auxiliary unit for writing/publishing/cloud..And I will love upgrading to the 11″ Air sometime, like you I am waiting a little longer..Have a great weekend, regards,Tobias

  49. Dave ML

    One of the biggest implications of the cloud to me is becoming more and more device agnostic, which will put at risk the Wintel hardware upgrade cycle Microsoft, Intel and their vendors count on so much.  With a large amount of my personal data in the cloud, it has been years since I cared very much about my home computers processor power and I already have plenty of storage. My home computer’s life cycle will be extended until they break. I have no need to buy a newer, better, more powerful computer. Different than my mobile devices where it seems there are regularly compelling reasons to upgrade on some sort of regular basis.P.S. I’m fascinated that you find Google Calendar to be robust enough given what must be an amazingly complicated calendar. Even a year ago my company looked at Google apps and the calendar app simply was not there yet from a large enterprise perspective. Their updates over the past year must have made a huge difference if it is working for you. I know Google really put a lot of resources behind that effort. Hopefully it will persuade Microsoft to finally start to slim down Outlook, rather than endlessly making it more complicated. 



    1. David Semeria




      2. Jose Paul Martin

        YEAH. TARZAN STILL LIKE APPLE. JANE GIVE.(ok, couldn’t resist that! haaha… translated, I still like idea of Apple’s app vs Web based apps, offline access adds to availability.)

      3. LIAD

        So true. So annoying. You would have thought he’d have bought a new keyboard by now considering it’s had cap locks jammed on for so long.

        1. Doug Steinschneider

          It’s much easier for his giant robot dinosaur claws to hit the upper case letters on the keyboard 🙂 

      4. LIAD

        So true. So annoying. You would have thought he’d have bought a new keyboard by now considering it’s had cap locks jammed on for so long.

    2. Jose Paul Martin


  51. iainm

    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 16.0px Times; min-height: 19.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 16.0px Times}span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #3000ee} I’ve a simplistic view of the history of our industry. It was bootstrapped in the post World War 2/Cold War era by all the R&D done by/for the military. That technology eventually trickle down into business. That was the first era and went from the end of WW2 to the 90’s. Then business started to take the lead and we saw the advent of the PC-era where business took the physical office and moved it onto a virtual desktop. PC’s still have that paradigm – a desktop, files, folder, mail, documents. This era has lasted up until the last few years, when consumer innovation started to permeate business. We’re now in the post-PC era where knowledge workers want to use their consumer devices and technologies in their work lives. We’re already seeing leading edge businesses adopt ‘BYOD’ policies (Bring Your Own Device) – for a remote office worker it can be more cost effective to have Best Buy and Geek Squad provision a user’s devices rather than the internal helpdesk and IT Support. But then how does that business provision it’s line of business applications? you can’t get Geek Squad to set up Oracle Financials or SAP for you. So this model starts to drive these services into a SaaS model. Once you get these into a SaaS – or device agnostic model we’ll really see the post-PC era explode.There’s a bunch of great startups that will ride this next wave – Dropbox, Evernote are a few. There’s a couple of big companies that can lead it too. I honestly don’t think Google can – this wave will be driven by businesses who want to offer their users greater flexibility and Google just doesn’t get business. It doesn’t have a traditional sales force so doesn’t know how to sell to business and it certainly doesn’t know how to offer business level support. Microsoft is a dodo because it’s so tied to the Office/Windows franchises and they will be the biggest losers in the post-PC era. Salesforce is driving the CRM side hard and I expect they’ll start to eat into the financials/business operations side sooner or later (ie Saas-ify Oracle, SAP etc). VMware is the dark horse here.Office is 4 core client products – Outlook (& exchange), Powerpoint, Excel and Word. VMware now owns Zimbra (Outlook/Exchange) and just acquired SlideRocket (Powerpoint). Two down, two to go. It already has a product that allows users to access virtual desktop in a datacenter on many devices including iPad and other mobile platforms. This allows casual business users of Excel, Word and other apps to access these apps with a simple thin client that can be downloaded from an App Store. And i expect they’re thinking hard about how to help businesses fully bridge from the traditional desktop model to the post-PC era. GigaOm was only partially right when he said this week that VMware is the next Microsoft, just without the OS. It’s without the OS AND Office.…. they will be interesting to watch.

  52. William Mougayar

    The iPad with DropBox is definitely liberating for doing presentations or demos while on the road, without a PC.But it’s mind-boggling that large corporations are still deploying Office Suites, Sharepoints & BlackBerry servers. I recently ditched Outlook 2010 as it became totally unusable given how bloated it is.If security and privacy concerns get alleviated, and cloud uptime continues to improve, there will be an even greater explosion in SaaS & cloud-based based software everywhere. We’re still at the tip of the iceberg.The economics and productivity implications of cloud-based apps will win.Sent from my iPad on the couch next to my sleeping dog, while watching TV & the blooming flowers in the sun room

    1. Carl Draper

       except when you take notes on a ipad you have to look at your screen all the time, whilst with a laptop you can the presenter if your touch-typing skills are good

      1. William Mougayar

        I can take notes on my iPhone while presenting on the iPad.

        1. Charlie Crystle

           or use a pen.

          1. William Mougayar


  53. Jose Paul Martin

    Ahhh Yes!But it was still Larry who talked about dumb terminals way before that… ofcourse he was thinking about running everything of Oracle servers!

  54. Aaron Klein

    I live and work about two and a half hours east of San Francisco, only about 45 minutes from great skiing and where the Winter Olympics were held in the 1950s.I love that the web gives me the ability to do business anywhere around the world while living where I want to live, and I’m only an hour from a major airport when I need to be there in person.But still, I’m in a place where we “get” to test the flakiness of broadband. I love many of these apps that you talked about, but I’m perfectly happy with having everything synced to a smartphone and a MacBook Air. Because when broadband gets flaky, I can still work.To me, the great thing about this post is that solid broadband will get here soon. Can’t wait.

    1. RichardF

      You lucky, lucky bloke Aaron.  I love the Squaw Valley Resort and Alpine Meadows.It is absolutely my intention to live in that area in the not too distant future.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Since you know the area, I’m in Colfax.And it amazes me that in a town of 1,750 people, I can do a Skype video conference with a shareholder, and 90 minutes later be boarding a flight to Chicago.The world has gotten a lot smaller…but the great broadband needs to stretch a little farther for me to go as deep into the cloud as Fred has.Coffee is on the agenda when you get here!

        1. RichardF

          Coffee –  absolutely Aaron!  Fantastic to be so close to such great skiing, Aaron (and countryside)

    2. Dale Allyn

      Aaron, I agree with you. This is a great post and comment thread, and certainly a view to the future for many. As one who travels for part of my business life to parts of the world with broadband challenges, being self-contained has important merit. Also, there are many people around the world (including in the U.S.) who will be left out if the push to the cloud is heaped on them before the infrastructure is in place. The internet and all its knowledge must be accessible to all, which includes the developing world as well as the developed world. But I know that Fred believes this too, so this is just a passionate rant/plea. ;)BTW: We’re “neighbors” and I also agree about the blessings of living where one wants and still be connected globally by technologies, old and new. Cheers.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Agreed, but the great news is that the cloud actually HELPS that process because it makes the computing devices more affordable.From my travels in Africa – and we’re going to back to build a school in rural Ethiopia this August – it’s clear that data service is getting there. They have some EV-DO networks now with limited penetration…but SMS penetration is deep and wide, and you can see where it’s headed.It’s also very clear that smartphones are going to replace laptops as the way the developing world gets real computing power.It is not that far off when a child in Africa will be able to edit documents and send e-mail on their Android just like Fred loves to do.And that will be an amazing world to live in.

        1. Dale Allyn

          Aaron, we agree. Mobile networks are far more usable (than many parts of the U.S.) in Southeast Asia as well. I don’t travel to Africa, but have friends who live and work in Kenya, as well as some who travel to the continent frequently for charitable work. Their remarks parallel yours.It’s wonderful to see these technological developments. One of my passions is for a global attitude toward universal accessibility to always be born in mind as we grow. The technologies provide opportunity to achieve access, and as you mention, in many cases it can be done with less costly tools. Still, inexpensive or free software on local machines has its place too, where broadband is still a ways off. 

          1. Aaron Klein

            “One of my passions is for a global attitude toward universal accessibility to always be born in mind as we grow.”We share the same passion!

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            @daleallyn:disqus both you guys are on it… the other thing coming is the rise of the developing world and how that will force the ‘fat’ in the developed to get off their buttocks… 

  55. Jose Paul Martin

    William, security and privacy will become a concern, and sooner or later it will some how be addressed. Especially when even services like Dropbox have had security issues:…We’ve seen that you cannot contain files 100%. With what we’ve seen with Wikileaks… files can escape (even from cloud services), however now you can track it down, and perhaps in the future search and destroy those files.Check out:  (we’ve invested in this company, so I’m biased!)

  56. Ron Feldman

    Great post Fred, I largely agree. What do you think though about the opposing trend of native apps vs. web/cloud apps on mobile platforms, including Android?  And, for example how Apple has extended that paradigm, quite successfully, with the Mac App store on the desktop?  Are native apps that sync data automatically (like Evernote) part of the cloud vision?

  57. markslater

     congrats – i had the opportunity to do this about 6 months ago. OUr start up is 100% on google – except – and its a big except – if you are or were a numbers monkey – i’ve been for many years in prior jobs – then excel is the only way to go. google version is no way near it – and it wont get there for a while. the only document for the entire company that i built on the desktop is the financial model.Everything else is on the google app platform – development docs, schema diagrams, patent filings and all our coporate docs, etc. these are all backed up locally – and i use box.netand sorry outlook or exchange lovers – gmail is a country mile better i’m afraid. 

    1. RichardF

      +1 identically except we use Dropbox.Excel is an awesome product and I have no desire to be free from it.

      1. Alex Murphy

        +1, but google apps just released pivot table support.  that will be interesting, but the reality is that excel has many fantastic functions!   

    2. Bryn Kaufman

      Gmail is better for you, but for me it was not useable. The first issue was attachments.  I send a lot of attachments in my business, and sometimes large ones.  With Outlook I can drag and drop or copy and paste and hit send and I am done.  With gmail I have to browse, select, and wait for them to upload, which is unacceptable. With my exchange all my emails going in and out are backed up automatically for $3 per month forever, with no size limit.  As my mailbox builds in size quickly and Gmail has a limit to the size of the mailbox I was not sure how I would keep and search my Emails forever using gmail.  Perhaps there is a 3rd party app now for this. I also extensively using flagging of Emails for follow-up.  Probably 1 of every 5 Emails I send I flag for follow-up just in case I do not get a timely response.  Last time I looked gmail had no similar flagging feature, although maybe they have it now. I also use a hotkey in Outlook to automatically time and date stamp my comments on peoples files.  This way when I make a comment I can know when it happened which is critical.  I see no way to setup a hot key in gmail to automatically do this. I also extensively use Quick Parts as many message I type are long but the same thing to various clients.  Quick Parts is a huge time save.  I don’t believe gmail has something like Quick Parts where with a couple key strokes I can have paragraphs of my message automatically typed. Other things I like with Outlook but might be able to live without if gmail had the above things are the preview Email pane so I don’t have to open every Email to see what it is about, and the ability to sort by different columns.   Sometimes my internet connection goes down, although not often.  When that happens with Outlook I can continue my work flow as I have access to all my Emails and I can send Emails and they will sit in the outbox and go out when I am connected again.  With gmail I am out of luck with no connection. Also I believe gmail had some issues losing peoples email a while back, but then recovered it.  With Outlook if the exchange server is down it is not a big deal.  I still have all my Email locally so I can see everything, and I can temporarily redirect my outgoing and incoming email to any pop3 server so I can continue to work even when exchange is down, which like gmail is a very rare, but it is nice to know I can do that if needed rather than waiting for Google to hopefully recover my Emails. The last issue I have is my email is critical and it is backed up at two locations.  Besides my exchange providers backing everything up I also copy my older sent items to a personal folder on my PC, which is backed up unlimited by Iron Mountain automatically.  As it is so critical, I like having it backed up at multiple locations. So while gmail might fit your needs better, that is not the case for everyone. 

      1. Josh Gordon

         Gmail email can be backed up locally on your computer and you can most definitely use it offline as well, just like outlook. You just have to enable offline access, works like a charm. 

      2. Hal Wilkerson

        Also gmail supports drag and drop and a host of other features including a ‘quick parts’ type function. The google labs team have done some amazing thing with gmail.

      3. Doug Steinschneider

        Also in gmail you can’t forward emails and retain embedded images. A nonstarter for my engineer clients – we had to go back to their email client 

      4. markslater

        thanks for the response.Gmail actually has a great deal of what you are saying above already built in to the product. Hotkeys, timestamps, flagging, desktop integration, file previewing called snippets and on and on – they have an APP store for GMail where you can find thousands of utility apps.The one thing i am less clear on, is back up – i just checked and did not see this option. I am going to assume that they dont feel it nescessary given their awsome infrastructure an the redundancy they have built in on the back end.

  58. Hugh Mackenzie

     Fred,Moving entirely to the cloud – especially when out-and-about – is fairly easy for a tech-literate consumer / small business person, but there’s plenty of accidents/lawsuits waiting to happen.  Out-and-about access, and that means domestic too, presents gaping security holes for enterprises, ordinary consumers and anyone concerned about multi-device data access and synchronisation, particularly if that data is personal about you, your business, or your clients.   It is the attention paid to the data security aspect of mobile usage which nowadays distinguishes the business computing space from the rich and varied spread of personal and mixed usage scenarios (kitchen etc).  We developed a product called KeyChain Desktop ( to add a much-needed layer of encrypted security for biz-computing on the go.  We run everything – and I mean everything – from an encrypted pre-configured USB stick – GoogleApps, MS Office, Citrix, DropBox, Skype.  We’ve left plenty enough space on our sticks to cover those ‘clear sky’ days without cloud access, including gmail/dropbox backup.  In extremis we expect our braver customers to travel simply with their phone and keyring, harnessing the keyboard and monitor of local hardware as and when a task requires it – for instance working on a spreadsheet for a couple of hours (a most unsatisfactory experience on a smartphone).  There is a proviso though –  you need to find something to plug the USB stick into!

  59. William Mougayar

    What are cloud-based contenders to Microsoft Office products?

  60. Michael Cullina

    In this thread two independent sets of choices are being treated as though they are one choice and must vary together.  This is not true.  The two sets of choices are: Google Apps and “going all cloud”.  You can choose both of course, but it should be articulated that they are two sets of choices.  For example, I run mostly Microsoft productivity apps.  I’m running Office 365beta, but my work is mostly done on my desktop and laptop, using the native apps.  I do sync using Dropbox, which is a great service.  However I don’t use Dropbox when high security is required.  I also use Microsoft SkyDrive.  It isn’t as seamless as Dropbox because it doesn’t have the native File Explorer shell extension interface, but it provides 25GB free, while Dropbox only offers 2GB free. I also have been using OneNote as my main repository of free form notes and web “snippets”.  It is already a free seamless “cloud synced” service through the Microsoft cloud.  Without any effort I have my OneNote notes (many MBs of notes) available and synced on my desktop and laptop.  OneNote notes are also available as needed on my Windows Phone 7.I use Gmail for secondary email and I use Google Docs a bit.  They are both OK, but I much prefer the Lexus-level quality of the current Microsoft suite to the mediocre quality of the Google productivity apps and the idiosyncratic nature of Gmail.As far as the second issue, going “all cloud”, is concerned:  my model now and in the future will be a hybrid model.  I want all the flexibility that Fred and others cite for mobile freedom, and I will have that 100% next year with Office365 and Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango”.  However, I also have a home office pod: a very high powered workstation with an SSD C drive and large storage D drive.  I have three large monitors in a curved alignment on my desk and my hands are on a good old fashioned keyboard.  For programming and writing more than a few sentences, this is the way to go.  My home pod is connected to the Net with Verizon FIOS. I also own a small hosting company so some of my monitor space usually displays “remote desktops” connected via RDP to physical servers or virtual machines that I or my customers own.  In my pod I work with a blend of local resources backed up to the Net and Net resources accessed locally.  I usually don’t think too much about which is which as I work.  However, most programming and productivity app work is still local.  The reason that I still have local resources (along with the three monitors and keyboard) is that a high quality local setup is still meaningfully more performant than a “piped in” application or session (even over FIOS).  This matters a lot for productivity and “flow”.

    1. RichardF

       TrueCrypt with Dropbox is a nice combination if you are worried about security

  61. Matt Langan

    I’ve been cloud-based since 2007, when I insisted on doing everything at my new company in GoogleDocs rather than MS (it’s great how you can influence stuff like that as a founding employee). Initially I was sharing market research presentations but as we started launching products I would use a spreadsheet for final sprint to-do lists, indicating individual responsibilities and completion statuses. This was so much easier than using FogBugz, Bugzilla, or Pivotal for thar stage of a project.The one issue I had was once I went multi-mobile device. Learning how to configure fully-synced read/write functionality for my Google Calendar across iCal, iPad, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3G used as a Touch took me about a day. You have to re-configure your Mail settings to use Gmail Exchange servers, which only syncs your primary Google calendar. To sync add’l calendars (under the same acct) you then go to and manually select the add’l calendars for the Exchange server to sync. I wouldn’t be surprised if I just solved one or two of your readers’ own syncing problems.One question: why not just upload the excel, word, and ppt files you receive into Docs? Worried about losing the integrity of the original due to some corner case with sn animation or formula?

  62. Guest

    Hey Fred, curious your thoughts on Microsoft in the new few years. Do you think most people will be able to wean off of Office and their operating system in work environments or will that be left to smaller, entrepreneurial firms. As you said, software tends to be pretty sticky especially when a lot of the applications have been based on wintel. Thanks!

  63. Muneeb Ali

    Interesting to see you moving away from desktop applications. The core of the problem seems like the need to access all your files/respective-apps on multiple devices. There was a research project at Stanford many years back, called The Collective –… – that tried addressing this issue. A commercial spin out came out of it, called MokaFive – – whose main product was providing virtual machines that migrate to any hardware device you wanted to use your apps on (so your files/apps go with you). They evolved their product line over the years, but that was the core idea. I’m just wondering that maybe this other model of “one file” (the virtual machine) containing all your files/apps might make a comeback. Imagine the VM migrating to your Android, or home PC, or conference room, as you move around and you don’t have “some-what the same files/apps” everywhere, you have *exactly* the same files/apps everywhere. On a side note, my previous advisor did a cool demo of a “follow me video” –… – the underlying technology is totally different, but the high-level idea of your app following you around wherever you go is the main thing (in this case the app is a video that you are watching). I don’t think this problem is still solved and is a big pain point.

    1. IainM

      VMware and Citrix already do much of this with thier Desktop Virtualization products. They have a bunch of work to do still and the backend infrastructure is still enterprise class, so not consumer ready but it’s getting there. You can already access a business desktop located in an enterprise data center via a thick client, thin client or mobile device and there are thick client solutions that allow that VM to be accessed offline via local caching. It’s still bleeding edge in some ways but I don’t think it’ll be long before a consumer/small business can rent a windows desktop that sits in the cloud that runs legacy/ thick apps and can be accessed anyway through variety of clients both online and offline. This solves the cloud bridging problem for people/businesses who have a legacy of documents in Office formats that they need to maintain even as they embrace new cloud paradigms

      1. Muneeb Ali

        I’m not following VMware and Citrix closely (so not aware of their latest products). They do seem like the natural companies to take on this problem though. Although, in my view, both Citrix (with their Xen origin) and VMware are mainly focused on virtualization for cloud infrastructure and the problems there are slightly different e.g., you want to run as many VMs on a physical machine as possible and make the performance as close to native as possible. In the desktop environment issue are different; the main tech challenges are seamless migration and consistency, but otherwise mostly it’s all about user adaption and experience e.g., running a VM on your laptop/desktop right now almost always means you are running in user-space and have that “weird” window that has another OS running inside it. Don’t think the average user feels comfortable with that and they are not going to throw away Windows or OS X and install a hypervisor (not tech-savvy enough). With that said, most of the technologies Citrix and VMware have developed apply directly to this problem and it won’t be a surprise if they eventually get user adaption.

  64. Gs3333

    It’s hard to believe that you get this much attention for simply moving to google docs.As long as your happy with what google offers, that’s great. Until you don’t have internet access, and then it’s not. If you’re in an office all day with a great connection, great. If you’re traveling, not in a major city, or simply have bad service, your screwed.Please write something with substance.

    1. fredwilson

      something wrong or bugging you today?you seem awfully crabby about one of my daily musings on my personal weblogthere is no requirement for substance here. it’s just daily thoughts 

      1. paramendra

        No, no. This is a ton of substance. 

  65. Mr. Unexpectedly

    Still wonder if this trend may not be more of a fad. I’m not sure mobile connectivity is a hardware quantity like processing power, and it is not my experience that actual broadband connectivity has kept up with Moore in this explosively mobile decade.That said, I am in the minority here, for two reasons: I do not use Apple anything (yes, have tried, no, won’t be converted any time soon), and my primary use of computers is telling them how to work with large amounts of data in sexy and manageable ways, which can be painful enough on plain ol’ 1GB ethernet. I see nothing here described that would qualify as much beyond light/leisure technology, business driver or not. (Occasional allusions to website coding being the exception, I suppose.)

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      You are right regarding BB not keeping up… and it is due more to Accelerating Returns (time span to next ‘doubling’ becomes less).Where you are probably in the grey area is the transmission of bigger files (video) will be heavy. The top of the chain will be those that can offer simple storage that can be accessed with minimal energy (KISS)… if nothing else, have it stored in your ‘bank’ (PC of future) and backed up in a SECURE personal box at a ‘bank branch/hq’…Otherwise, it is a matter of speed/consistency of transmission improving which will allow the KISS to be at forefront as we move to everything knowledge related being accessable no matter what you’re doing. 

  66. swalkergibson

    Interesting that most of the commenters in this thread are utilizing Apple products to access cloud-based apps. I am curious, what is the rationale behind paying such a premium for hardware when the need for raw computing power has been so greatly diminished? Frankly, it seems to me that this “move to the cloud” could potentially be the catalyst for large-scale Linux adoption, there is no dependency hell if all you are doing is working with applications through the browser.

    1. btucker

      I think most people include their time in the value equation for devices. So even if you’re paying more up front (which really is arguable these days), you’re far making it up over the 3 years you’re using the device.

      1. Ben Hughes

        Absolutely: opportunity cost of time is a concept many people completely miss when making decisions based on trade-offs. The amount of money I spend on computer hardware/software over 3 years is an absolute drop in the bucket compared to a tiny sliver of my time over the 3 years that might be affected in the slightest way by said computer hardware/software. 



        1. ErikSchwartz

          This is why chrome OS and chromebooks are interesting. The hardware becomes entirely commoditized. I log into your chromebook with my credentials and it becomes my chromebook.

          1. ShanaC

            I have one. There are pluses and minuses. I’m never going to expect cloud based rendering for video, having now experienced these machines. Even localized photoshop is a better experience than its cloud competitors. When you need the processing speed, it needs to be local for parts of the development.

          2. ErikSchwartz

            True.But most people only do email, web surfing, a little word processing.  

          3. ShanaC

            Yes,but we still use the web to apply for jobs, which for whatever thereason on the chromebook, means downloading your resume and uploading itback up….Dumbass I know, but the internet we have now was developed to have thesesurrounding programs on computers, so it is hard when the internet doesn’tinterface with itself

          4. John Rorick

            I am actually trying to reply to your comment later in this thread..”so it is hard when the internet doesn’t interface with itself” That is a brilliant comment and should be the title of any user experience class in web tech.

    2. pbreit

      The rationale for paying a premium for hardware is getting a superior experience. Simple as that. I spend 10-18 hours a day on the thing. I want the best experience.

    3. pbreit

      Also, you can easily get 60-80 cents on the dollar for used Macs so it’s actually much cheaper. 

  67. Sebastian Wain

    Every person  with computer security knowledge will panic after your post :-)The question is: what happen if someone reads your e-mails, dropbox files, etc without permissions? is that dangerous or not?

    1. fredwilson

      it is dangerous and i’ve tried not to write anything down that won’t be ok getting out therestuff that is super confidential is best left for voice i think 



        1. Guest

          Zoinks … an IT Superhero saying these things … maybe today is the Rapture  }:-)  LOL

        2. karen_e

           Exactly, Grimlock. I would like to hear the reply to this one.

  68. sfopeter

    I am right there with you, except for the iMac as a desktop… I run a Win7 machine – 3.6ghz i7, 128gb SSD, 16gb RAM, 2tb drive that cost $1250 at costco + a 30″ and two 24″ monitors. And use the MacBook Air 13″ as a notebook, with an old MacBook as a family machine. The beauty of everything in the cloud is that I can barely tell the difference btw Mac & Win7 anymore.

  69. Bob Greenlees

    As Fred describes, one of the biggest hurtles to cloud adoption is just getting your stuff there.In a shameless plug for our company, is working to solve a piece of the cloud puzzle by helping people to move their email, contacts, calendars and documents between services.  Many of our customers want to move this data from one service to another or between accounts, and we help them do that.We are a TechStars accelerated, NYC-based, startup and appreciate the wisdom and experience Fred shares here and the feedback generated by the community.  The cloud is clearly the future, and if you’re interested in moving there please consider giving our service a try.

  70. e.p.c.

    Congrats… I’m mostly there except for the random PowerPoint which only displays well inside of PowerPoint.Strongly advise utilizing Google’s Multi Factor Authentication / two step verification (http://googleenterprise.blo… for your Apps accounts.  It *will* make logging in to various Google things a bit more tedious but the security benefit is priceless. 

  71. Michal Illich

    Re: “The main goal I’ve had is to have the applications and files I need available on any device I might want to use”I had the same goal, but radically different solution.I just carry USB thumbdrive (crypted) with me – I have the files and e-mails there.Pros:+ more secure+ I don’t give my data to Google or other company+ I use desktop software which is faster and more powerful+ works offline tooCons:- need to carry thumbdrive with me (I have it together with my keys)- to access e-mail Thunderbird 3 needs to be installed (or fall back to webmail)



      1. Michal Illich

        Does it work offline? No.Can you run Thunderbird from it? I bet it will be a pain.What about speed? Thumbdrive 30MB/s, internet connection optimistically 10Mbit/s (note: bytes vs bits).

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Michal Illich

            I know Dropbox. And as we both know you need an internet connection to sync (of course). That’s the point.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  72. Matthew Gerring

     The cool thing about the Internet, up to now, is that people had the primary means of production and distribution in their own hands. Now we’re trading that power away with reckless abandon for “convenience”. Forgive me for being a total dinosaur, but this strikes me as a mistake. I’m hanging on to my overpowered laptop. I want to own my computing power, not rent it. The panoply of things that can go wrong here is just too obvious.

  73. CJ

    Google’s lack of enterprise level support kills the idea for most people I’ve talked to but USV is pretty small compared to that pool so it might be a better fit.  Google needs to understand though, that operating a virtual datacenter means doesn’t mean that they should only offer virtual support.

  74. Gamer4Eva

     Graet gaming news website check it out at

  75. paramendra

    You said a few posts back your new office had a space for events. So when is the first event? Throw a party. No need for an excuse. 🙂

  76. Peter Sullivan

    Just had our first mac unwrapping this week at the office! What a great day…

  77. Tommy Chen

     seems like you’ll be a huge fan of chrome os.

  78. ShanaC

    ddue to a bunch of improbable circumstances, I have ended up with a few weeks here and there using nothing but a chromebook. ( Chrome OS) there are certain tasks that make the just web model frustrating.Eg: in order to run a Facebook ad, you have to upload a photo from a local source. It is much harder to type in a touch only world. You can’t code without some sense of native. forget making an animated video.If you are not in the category of needing any of those sorts of tasks, cloud only is hugely competitive. I just think that most people will do these sorts of tasks on occasions, so it makes it hard to build out a cloud only desktop.



  79. jonsteinberg

    I have almost the same setup. We use Dropbox Team (Corp edition) at buzzfeed- do you have that versions. It’s great.Still using keynote and excel. My last non-cloud items.I also write/blog a ton on iPad and do almost all my presentations and live demos via ipad2 which screen mirrors to vga or hdmi

    1. Michael Cullina

      When you write on iPad do you use a bluetooth keyboard or do you just “type” on the screen?  I could not imagine writing “a ton” that way.

  80. Pete Griffiths

     All you need now is to back up all those google docs someplace safe.  Backupify?

    1. fredwilson

      or spanning backup

      1. Pete Griffiths

        hadn’t found that onethanks 

  81. Saad Fazil

    Fred, I don’t quite follow. You are still using Macs, Powerpoint, Excel, Word, Keypoint — so I don’t see that you have *completely* moved to the cloud. While I understand what you have done is a significant step in moving completely to the cloud, it is still not as you describe “be done with desktop software and desktop files” and “The final piece of the puzzle came yesterday”… what am I missinn?

    1. fredwilson

      i said this in my post:I realize that it will be a while before I’m completely ridden of word,excel, powerpoint, keynote, and a few other desktop software packages. Istill get plenty of files sent to me that are best viewed in theseapplications. So I have them on pretty much every machine I use regularly.And I use the preview function on android to read them when I’m on my phone.I’m hoping we can move away from these applications quickly, but I’mrealistic about the intertia that exists in things like this.

  82. Travis McDevitt

    I still prefer Office for its ability to work seamlessly across different productivity programs. It’s nice to be able to paste with formatting, mail merge, etc. Dropbox, skydrive, office web apps and WP 7 all live in this same ecosystem with similar mobile functionality and superior installed experiences. Many people consider it a triumph to escape the world of installed apps, but it really isn’t necessary or the easiest way achieve these gains.

  83. Tereza

    Fred have you lost weight? New outfit?Botox….no? You sure? I can’t put my finger on what’s different.What’s that you say? The CLOUD??? What the…Well, whatever it is it looks GREAT on you. You shoulda done it years ago.Wear it in good health.And who cares what those other people say. So long as it makes you happy.

    1. fredwilson

      actually i think i’ve put on weight in the past couple monthsgot to cut back a bit on the yoga and do more biking

      1. Tereza

        Got the perfect person for you. Her name is High Voltage. You can call her ‘Voltage’.….She’s almost 70 and operates on a totally different plane.Get this — Voltage is actually THE person who originally (1) brought dance music into a workout environment, (2) create modern workout clothes (e.g. Pink Lycra), (3) coined the term ‘food addiction’, and (4) conceived yelling out ‘WOOH!’If she’s good enough for Katie Couric and RuPaul, she’s good enough for Fred Wilson. :-)OK, maybe not your style…but amazing, right?Most importantly she’s changing the lives of inner-city girls, helping them fight off Type 2 diabetes. I’m a fan!

        1. fredwilson

          yes she sounds amazingi don’t work out with trainersyou have to talk to them

  84. Reykjavik

    Google Docs just isn’t full-featured enough to replace Word and Excel (Powerpoint, yes). And MS’s cloud solutions, sadly, aren’t either. Try redlining a contract in Google and you’ll be sent into formatting hell. Love Evernote, however, for device independent storage. Have moved from using an ultralight laptop to a Xoom as my secondary and light traveling device, so still hope the app get more mature more quickly — not a fan of desktop SW either.As for Gmail replacing Outlook, haven’t found web-based mail clients to be as efficient for large-volume mailboxes. Just slows me down.

  85. Youssef Rahoui

     As for us:- Google Apps: Docs, Calendar, Gmail, Gtalk (handy), Contacts (sucks), Sites (great for Intranet)- Skype (for people outside the company)- RememberTheMilk (great but looking for a to do list app that works within Google Apps).

    1. Kyle Cassidy

      Why don’t you like google contacts?  I found their new version to be very useful.

      1. Youssef Rahoui

        I am not aware of any new version ?! I’ve attached a screenshot of the version we are using: is this what you mean?

  86. OurielOhayon

     Fred; no tablet?ps: i have nearly exactly the same configuration, would love to know which other software you re still using, which extensions on your browser and also which SAAS on a daily basis. Maybe another post?

    1. fredwilson

      we own three ipads and a rim playbook and a samsung android tablet

  87. Elan Mosbacher

    Just below the line “I realize that it will be a while before I’m completely ridden of word, excel, powerpoint . . . ” in your RSS feed there is a nice big Google Ad for Microsoft Office 2011. I found that pretty ironic 🙂 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}

  88. NikG

    at the danger of sounding medieval, I do not believe that everybody will be happy with the cloud. There are companies  – like ours – that have invested siginificant ressources in MS Office and are quite happy with Office 2010. Google apps are the 80% solution – perfect for 80% of the users but untenable to the rest 20%. But the overhead and the complexity does take a toll. I am very curious at the Office365 offerings since I believe that the hybrid solution is a way to go. However, BPOS has been lacking (V1), and V2 (Office365) does not look like perfection yet.   Unless MS get this right, more and more people are going to bolt.  But there are worlds between what you can do on google apps and Office 2010 – make no mistake. Problem for MS is that most people do not know that and probably do not care. And colloboration wise MS has not put its act together yet – though this might change with Office365.We tried going over to google apps – but even the pilot phase showed us that the trade off made no sense. Retraining people, changing processes evolved around Office / Sharepoint just seemed too high a price to pay. Things could change though if:1) G Apps get to say about 50% of Office 2010 functions and handling2) G Apps present some kind of sharepoint equivalent. Sharepoint is to me the hidden gem of Office.Just my 5 c – am not affiliated to MS or hold any particular sympathies.Kind RegardsNik

  89. $7266428

    The funny thing about this is I just finished a hundred hour week helping [very successful startup that everyone has most definitely heard a lot of in 2010/2011] move OFF IMAP/Gmail/Dropbox and onto AD/Exchange/etc and they are singing the praises of the latter.The setup mentioned by Fred doesn’t scale as a small agile team of “i know what i’m doings” scales to soemthing more typically corporate.

  90. RacerRick

     There’s no cloud solution for Photoshop and Coding software (text editors).  When I get a new computer, I still have to purchase these apps and it makes me angry to fork over $500 each time for software I already own.

    1. Michael_kariv

      Right, but I see some start to apper.They are not there yet, nor will be too soon.However I think theynwill catch up eventually. Fred is not saying GDoc is better. He says it is good enough on features plus cloud. Cloud carries much weight with Fred.I tried it way before most, if not all. I even written scraper for wacoopa trying to predict when most people switch to gdoc. Well, I still revert to word sometimes. I can list specific features where g does not do what woes does. And of cause I drop box files.One advantage of g apps overlooked here in comments is mashups. Google apps all have extensive set of API, meaning other apps can integrate with them. And people do write addons that Fred or you could immediately use. For example long ago I developed a Ganntt chart editor that used google spreadsheets as a back end. I did it for fun, but even now I sometimes receive emails from people who found it somehow. I recently stumbled on somebody doing that too. So I think w shall see apps using g spreadsheets as an editable database soon.

  91. Alex Murphy

     Fred -Made the switch to the big MacBook Air in Feb.  It is awesome!!!It is my only computer.  I plug it into a 24″ in the office and am on the go everywhere.Pretty much everything except heavy Excel and PPT/KEY is in the cloud.  I run super sized excel programs that are 100s of MBs with far fewer problems then I had with my old machine.  You can make the switch now.

  92. Erich Morisse

    Although I enjoy the tech discussion, the bigger one is how could cloud change your day to day.  Fred’s got a great example no longer being tied to a location to get work done.  What changes have you made?

  93. Josh Gordon

    My company is in between being on google docs and microsoft programs. Bottom line, microsoft has at least two programs that can’t be beat: Excel, as others have mentioned, and OneNote. For those who don’t use the latter, I highly recommend it! It organizes your whole like in on place. But I regress. Wanted to make sure people know about Microsoft sync, which is how all my files appear on all my computers almost instantaneously. After the initial sync, it works in the background like a charm. Big fan. And it’s free. Bottom line, all my files are replicated automatically on any and as many computers as I choose. I create a document at work, and it appears on my home computer. This also serves as my backup since I have the files (including photos, music, and more!) on multiple machines.  In addition, Microsoft now has the equivalent  of google docs as well — all online. Your Word from your computer for example is automatically available as an online doc, which can be shared with anyone, either for working on the online Word app, or synced directly to the other person’s computer for use as a regular document. Changes made by one person appear quickly on the other person’s computer. While it’s still not as user friendly as google docs, the product is new and will get better as microsoft goes along.  For gmail, for those who haven’t, enable the offline gmail function so emails are backed up locally to your computer and you can work without any internet connection too. 

  94. sdizdar

    Regarding concerns regarding networks problems, vendor lock-in and similar, we at believe that using multiple cloud services is the best solution to protect your cloud data. In other words, store your data in your favorite cloud service and then synchronize it with multiple cloud services. The beauty of this approach is that data is in form which can be easily consumable and recoverable without the need for a lengthy and complicated restoration process.

  95. karen_e

    I’m right behind you, Fred. It took me 8 or 10 years but finally last month I gave up the $100/year crack habit called What a silly bill to pay!

  96. Malter

     I wish you can start using office 360 & office web apps. I don’t know why you are so against the office(microsoft) but start using HOTMAIL and all the functions , I think they are better than GMAIL. Like SKYDRIVE, check the new interface of HOTMAIL and it’s functioanlity like how seamless intergration with office(powerpoint, word,excel). upload limit(25GB). PHOTOSYNTH, ICE image composite editor, HD view, SONG smith, SYNC tool, all your updates in INBOX(yelp,facebook,pandora, myspace etc..) What else you want.I am not against anything but just like you I took my stand.Find better tool in one place I’ll will stop using these tool. And yes how come I forget about BING MAP (Mr Blaise Aguera y Arcas vision), Videos are available on read/write worldFor More informationMicrosoft Research Projects( on Microsoft research website)

  97. Odsturm

     Pardon my ignorance but what is USV Google Apps? I’ve Googled it but have come up blank.Many thanksOle

    1. fredwilson

      its our implementation of google apps at our firm (USV)

  98. BuyGiftsItems

    I think most people include their time in the value equation for devices. So even if you’re paying more up front Kamagra

  99. Guest

    hello avc 

  100. Mark Essel

    Rockin’ move Mr. Wilson. I left Windows for dev reasons, enjoyed Ubuntu for a while, but love my new Mac home. iMac desktop is wonderful, MacbookAir is classy, iPad is the best book/living room browser I ever had, and my wifi phone is essential.

  101. Gregor Einetter

    Good setup. Congrats!How do you manage your passwords?

    1. fredwilson


      1. Gregor Einetter

        Thanks Fred, a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved 🙂 Please let us know in case you find a solution for this. Thank you also for sharing your setup!

  102. Naga Kunderu

    I like the cloud too, but I am concerned about my internet bill :-). I need to pay multiple times for internet  – (1) Home, (2) Phone (3) Small office internet, (4) iPad/Tablet on the go. Seriously – some one needs to fix this problem before the masses move to the cloud.

  103. Patricio

    Hard work and diligent action always pays off, one way or another. Keep kicking

  104. Parris Whittingham

    I just started focusing on my “new setup” a few months back. Went to Norway + Paris with only my ipad and the feeling of “lightness” also came to mind. Realizing how much more my photography studio can do to be more mobile has been a fun challenge and a blessing. 

  105. canadiense

    do you have your music in the cloud yet?

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve been using rhapsody for over a decademusic in the cloud is awesome

  106. Thailand Reisen

    I think cloud is great – given two things: a) an easy and complete backup and b) high security. What’s your backup solution?

  107. Calven007

    I used Gmail for years. WTF does it have to do with a cloud? Its an internet web based service, they have been around almost as long as the internet. What exactly is all the excitement about a cloud. Its like saying you are excited about using xfinity instead of comcast. Its a different name for the same thing. Idiots.

    1. fredwilson

      idiots is negative language that we don’t use around herebe positive and be liked and be respected

  108. Tim Leon

    I’m almost there myself. Call me crazy but I think the Chromebook is going to be a lot more popular than people think.

  109. fredwilson

    I use my calendar as a task manager. I know that’s nutty but it what I do

  110. fredwilson

    we sync dropbox to a mac mini in the office

  111. maverickny

    I do the same thing, it’s surprisingly effective for essential and important things that need to be focused on!

  112. fredwilson

    nopethis is a trust issuei trust them

  113. fredwilson

    too manythey focus on the wrong issues